Sew in Love

Sunday, March 03, 2013

I took a creative writing class in college, and one of the assignments was to write about a tool. There were a lot of tools that I could have chosen to write about, but the one tool that kept coming to mind was a tiny little needle. 

My finger was in pain. I was only five years old, but this was a pain that I was all too familiar with. I examined my finger; there under the top layer of skin, was a sliver of wood. It was tiny, slightly thicker than a strand of hair and no longer than a grain of rice. However, it wasn't hard to see. The splinter was dark, and stood out against my pale, pink skin. With tears building in my eyes I went to seek comfort from my grandma. She took one glance at the little, dark spot and knew exactly what to do to make the pain go away. Sitting down in at the table, I watched her move around the kitchen like a dance. Above the kitchen sink, in the white cotton curtains, a needle is held between the threads. My grandma pulled the sharp silver loose. Then she made her way to a little drawer and pulled out a box of matches. She struck one of the matches against the box. It made a scratching sound and a glowing flame instantly appeared. She held the needle over the flame for several seconds, as the scent of burning matches filled the room. I sat with my legs swinging back and forth anxiously fearing the pain I was sure I was going to endure. She sat down in the worn wooden chair across from me and held my little hand in hers. As I sat with my eyes tightly pressed shut she carefully and painlessly used the needle to retrieve the tiny slice of wood.

Grandma has a way with this tiny tool. When my favorite stuffed animal began to spill stuffing from one of the seams she managed to doctor it to health. When my favorite dress was ripped she was able to make it look good as new. I have watched her make several quilts with this tiny piece of metal. Each time there is a baby born in the family or a marriage my grandmother makes a wonderful quilt. Taking pieces of fabric and strands of thread to create wonderful works of art. Each piece is unique and beautiful, and the tool she uses to put it all together is that tiny little needle. 

As a child I remember sitting at my grandma's feet with a needle and thread...trying...and failing to make a turn a washcloth into something pretty. (They always ended up looking like a giant knot.) Above me my grandma would transform three layers into a usable quilt. I will never forget those days...but now I am working on making something very beautiful. (I can't wait to reveal it!) With my grandma's help I have started quilting! I will tell you more when I am able to...for now it is going to stay a surprise! I am sew in love with quilting! I can't wait to learn new things, and try fun designs. 

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